Friday, January 25, 2013

January 25, 2013 … Vertical Motive – Horizontal Actions … Never Good

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 25

Passage of the Day: Exodus 2: 12 in the context with verse 11 [NLT] …
11  Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his people, the Israelites, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrew slaves. 12 After looking around to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. 

Contextual Study of today’s passage: Exodus, Chapter 2 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: John 13: 37-28 : [NLT] … {Jesus knew Peter would go horizontal rather than vertical. … And he did! } … 
37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” 38 Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times. 
Reference Passage #2: John 18: 25-27 [Going horizontal before going vertical – always a bad choice!] : [NLT] …  
25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” … He denied it and said, “I am not!” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed. 

My Journal for Today: If you’ve read the Bible, I’m sure you know these two stories, one from the Old Testament and one from the New, both describing great men of the Word, both of whom failed miserably at one stage in their lives. But God knew their potential and mercifully, and patiently, dealt with these men until they could be restored and renewed in faith to learn God’s strategy for His seekers and servers; and that it is to CHOOSE to go VERTICAL before one goes HORIZONTAL.

In Moses’ situation, being a young Jew, adopted to become an Egyptian ruler, and trying to learn about the people of his ancestry, … Moses saw great injustice being perpetrated on the Israelites; and in one heated moment, he murdered an Egyptian guard whom he witnessed beating an Israelite slave. Moses hadn’t yet learned to take his fleshly desires to God vertically before taking action personally and horizontally. And it led to Moses having to be seasoned to learn this lesson by God leading him to spend 40 years in the wilderness as a shepherd.

Peter in the New Testament was another impulsive believer, learning to serve God; and we know that story of Peter declaring that he’d die for God; but when push-came-to-shove in the Garden of Gethsemane as Jesus was being taken away, Peter took the horizontal route in fleshly fear, rather than taking his fears to His Lord. And Jesus, Peter’s Messiah, dying on the cross for his sin and being resurrection, taught Peter this lesson and allowed him to be restored and renewed to serve God mightily after the resurrection.

Os Hillman, in his workplace devotional for today, uses these biblical examples of great men of faith, showing that we all have the potential to make ill-begotten horizontal choices if we don’t learn to take our fleshly choices to God in prayer vertically first, before taking horizontally-based action. Think about it; and I’d bet that you can think of some decision that you’ve made in the past as a born-again Christian in which you ramped into horizontal, fleshly-led action before patiently took the decision to God to provide you with His peace and His vertical guidance. And what was the result? It very likely was disaster or at least a setback, right?!

We all have to learn and apply the truths of two passages of Scripture, which I’m going to assign any reader here to seek out, read (that is, if you don’t’ know them by heart), and then apply the truths in them. They are Proverbs 3: 5-6 in the Old Testament and Philippians 4: 6-7 in the New; and if we internalize these guiding truths, learning to trust God and take our flesh-driven desires and decisions to The Lord, VERTICALLY FIRST, rather than taking quick and ill-begotten HORIZONTAL ACTIONS, we will avoid much potential or real disaster in our lives as servers of God.

And as Lily Tomlin used to say as little Edith Ann from her pontificating high-chair in her signature lisp on Laugh-In go to this You Tube link “And thath the twuth!”

My Prayer for Today ,,, Lord, help me to avoid my horizontal tendencies, learning to take all things – ALL THINGS – to You vertically to make my choices in life. … Amen

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